The Benedictions sound like they’re having too much fun to go seriously wrong even though they claim to Play Devil Music on their debut CD. And for all the minor-chording and back-delta strumming of Detroit Rebellion’s eponymous debut, what emerges from the music and the lyrics is the voice of the righteous believer, the kind of guy who might live outside the law to be honest, to paraphrase the Minnesota bard.
The day started out nicely with Nneka on the main stage, in her Nigerian pop-protest mode sounding at times like Fela, Thomas Mapfumo, or Erykah Badu, all of it convincing and danceable, followed by local phenoms, The Low Anthem. Their act seems made to order for a smaller, more intimate venue, but the planners gave them due respect and put them on the main ‘Fort’ stage where the big boys hang out. They opened with the ever-evocative “Ghost Woman Blues,” and their sound carried like a fresh breeze across the green field of Fort Adams.
That little box, not as big as the metal bread box with the roll-up door that set on the kitchen cabinet, delivered the farm report and the weather forecast and wake-up music into our kitchen at breakfast. It brought soap operas throughout the morning, country music at lunch time, and Superman, Inner Sanctum, The Shadow, Gangbusters, Fibber McGhee and Molly, and the Grand Ole Opry other days and times. Now it brought bad news.
New Year’s Day. January 1, 1953.